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Updated on January 11, 2011


Sarah did not know that Jose had slipped on the wet steps on some of the frogs that the rain had brought out. The thud she had heard was his body hitting the pavers and his neck breaking, killing him instantly... Her chance for survival gone. But maybe she did know, as she licked the salty tears that came down her cheeks.

The next day old man Carter was on his way over to the Burke's cottage. He looked down at his watch, it was only nine...he was sure she'd be up, as he wanted to drop the sealed envelope off before he started his chores for the day. He was to tell her not to open it until Mr. Burke got home...Surprises...what the heck, he thought to himself, if that's what Mr. Burke wanted...He cut through the back path and was coming around to the front of the cottage when he saw Jose's body sprawled out at the bottom of the steps, lying in a pool of blood and mucous. It looked like he had broken his neck...He bent down to take a closer look..."Yep, he's dead" he said aloud as he stood up and walked slowly up the steps, trying to avoid the dead frogs that were scattered about. He slowly opened the front door, fearing what he would find inside. Sitting upright on the couch was Mrs. Blake with her eyes closed looking like she might be sleeping, but sadly he knew that wasn't the case. He gently went over and said softly "Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Blake", but there was no response. He put his finger on her wrist to feel for a pulse, but sadly there was none. He looked down at the coffee table to see a pad with some writing on it. It looked like notes she had made on questions she had for Jose. Without thinking, he picked the pad up and ripped off the page, as he walked into the hall bathroom and flushed it down the toliet.

Why couldn't she have just minded her own business? he thought to himself as he stood over her body, wondering how she died. He saw the half empty coffee mug on the glass table in front of her. Without thinking, he picked it up and spotting the other one opposite her, he picked that one up too. He took them over to the kitchen sink and washed them both with hot soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher. He now looked about the room, his eyes falling on the dining room table where the pizza box lay closed...he went over and opened it, It contained two leftover pieces. He closed the box and carried out to Jose's truck, opened the front door and placed it on the front seat. He slammed the door shut, turning to see if anyone was watching...No one was. The truck had blocked Jose's body from any traffic which might have passed by. He stood looking at the body trying to decide what to do. He needed to protect the townspeople from any more scandal...Mrs. Jordan's suicide had caused enough...they didn't need more...things were back to normal...and now this.

He went back inside and cleaned off the dinning room table of any dishes, washing them and stacking them neatly in the dishwasher, and than dumping the leftover salad down the garbage disposal, and the lemonade down the sink. Everything now looked clean and ordinary...except for Jose's body out front, and Mrs. Blake's dead body on the couch. He went back out to Jose's truck, opened the front drivers side, got in, and finished off the two leftover pieces of pizza before calling the police on his cell phone.

The deaths of both Mrs. Blake and Jose were ruled accidental. Talk around town was that they were probably lovers...and maybe the baby was really his...the poor dead baby.

Robert never entered the cottage again...never in his heart, forgave Sarah for her death, and the death of their child...and put his "surprise" back on the market to be sold. He sneered when he saw the ad..."Perfect, perfect cottage for sale or rent...Start your own happy memories there...etc, etc".  It sold within three months, to a Doctor and his wife, a lawyer from New York City. All the furniture was included.. Also included in the bedroom under the dictionary, was the picture of a young Latin couple and their baby.

The End.

This story and all it's contents belong to the author, b. Malin


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    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Thanks 50 Caliber for reading through till the "bitter end". Thanks so much for your comments, glad you enjoyed the ride.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Luminita, thanks for enjoying...Hope to see you again!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      B.Malin, I was sure that Maggie had knocked the guy in he head and would retrieve the antidote and save the reporter and her curiosity to move forward and have a magical quality to the frogs that ultimately would play an evil end to her publishing the article.

      that was my thoughts

      Your ending was great though leaving wide open room for another beginning and end of the cottage of death, voted up all the way, thanks for the great read, 50

    • luminita1977 profile image

      luminita1977 7 years ago from New York

      Good article,thanks

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      I'm thrilled that you finished it cdemasi...and thanks, I was hoping to do that with this ending.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Thanks once again Glemoh 101, glad you liked the story and the complement...means a lot.

    • profile image

      cdemasi 7 years ago

      What a wild ride B. Malin - BRAVO!!

    • Glemoh101 profile image

      Glemoh101 7 years ago

      Thanks for your amazing hub , That i RATED it.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Thanks Pixienot...not everyone needs to comment...yes, the suspense is gone, now and I'm glad you came along for the read. Your very welcome!

    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 7 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      I don't know what to say, but you are a very good writer.

      All suspense is now gone.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Hey breakfastpop, glad you didn't guess the for a sequel...too draining. As I told Rich, I'm going to work on one pagers...short prose and poetry...for a while. Thanks for hanging in there my friend.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Your opinions and comments mean a lot to me Rich...I thought of a lot of endings, but I like a little "oh" ...for what I write...another story...maybe, but not now...I'm going to stick to one page...prose and poetry for a while...but you never know... Thanks again my friend for your seal of approval.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Thanks Cheryl, thanks for reading and making such wonderful comments, greatly appreciated.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      An unexpected ending with possibilities of a sequel. Well done! Up and awesome!

    • richtwf profile image

      richtwf 7 years ago

      Sad end but brilliantly done - Bravo!

      Feel sorry for Sarah - future mother

      and also for Robert - future father

      parental destinies - both unfulfilled

      unfortunate tears and blood spilled.

      Curiosity can kill the inquiring cat

      and Sarah tragically discovered that.

      What to do now? I'm sad that this story has ended, but you must write more of these!

      Great story my friend and really enjoyed the journey.

      Cheers and God bless you!

    • profile image

      Cheryl Kapelner-Champ 7 years ago

      That was good, very suspenseful & well written, w/ *excellent detail.

      When the statement, "it's too good to be true.", your main "character-couple" will come to mind.

      Good work Barb, it was good reading.


    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      From you mouth to God's ears...I'd love to write and direct...well we all have to have our dreams...Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement and the wisdom that goes along with it...I'm proud to call you my friend.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..well this story and all its contents belong to the author, B. Malin - and they are beautifully written contents too - and the story had me on the edge for days (literally) as day by day the events in these people's lives unfolded ...... it's a nice way to read a short story in the way you add a new chapter each day ......

      ....and you certainly have a great eye for detail - always a hallmark in any creative writing class - and you certainly know how to teach it - and very well at that - I am a willing student, my friend, and you will see me here next time front row centre.

      By the way when are they going to adapt your screenplay into a movie .....